WCO Report for Erie County 05/25/2011: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: May 25, 2011

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on May 25, 2011 at 07:56:50:

May 25th, 2011

West Erie County, DWCO Randy Leighton, rglerie@msn.com

Erie , like much of the state continues to work its way through very wet spring. Monday night brought heavy wind and rain through out the night that will likely affect fishing patterns through the week. Lake Fishing is picking up the wind and waves cooperate, with the anglers targeting smallmouth trophies along the lakeshore in 20 to 35feet of water. Catch rates have been fair to good off the old International Paper site on the east side of the City of Erie, and West of Walnut Creek in similar depths. Anglers unable to take to the Lake can find good smallmouth fishing from the shore on the south side of Presque Isle State Park and along the North and South Piers along the Erie Channel. Small mouth fishing has been fair from the boat launch north to the Lake at the Elk Creek access and off the Wall at the Walnut Creek Access Area. Some lake perch are being caught for the patient anglers, but no big numbers yet. A number of sizable Lake Trout are being brought in to the Northeast Marina as well. Current Lake Erie Water temperature is 51 degrees.

Have a Safe Holiday Weekend:
Memorial Day Weekend is traditionally the start of the summer boating season, even with the chilly Erie area temperatures. Forecasts this weekend are calling for mild to warm temperatures, a bit cold for swimming, but warm enough for good boating and fishing opportunities. Be sure that your safety equipment is in order and that all equipment and PFDs are in good serviceable condition. Check PFDs for rips, tears, mildew, and broken or missing fasteners. Check that fire extinguishers are full, visual distress signals have not expired, PFDs are readily accessible and in good condition, and that horns and lights are all in working order. Check and clean you spark arrester as necessary. Refer to your boaters handbook (available at most boating stores, the Walnut Creek Access office as well as on line) to be sure that you are in compliance with the required safety equipment for your particular boat. Required safety equipment is typically determined by the length of your boat.

As always, a reminder that alcohol and boating can be a bad combination. Fines and penalties can be stiff for those boating under the influence. not to mention the danger to yourself and the lives of those around you. The penalties for operation of a watercraft while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance could lead to a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $7,500, or imprisonment not exceeding two years, or both, plus the loss of boating privileges for a period of 12 months. Homicide by watercraft while under the influence carries a fine of not less than $2,500 nor exceeding $15,000, or imprisonment of no less than three and no more than seven years, or both. In addition to the offenses described above, operating a watercraft under the influence may also violate other laws. These may include prohibitions against reckless or negligent operation of boats, public drunkenness, disorderly conduct and underage drinking. Its just not worth taking the risk.

How to fish a Tube Jig:
Tube jigs are a hot bait for smallmouth bass on Lake Erie. Here are a few tips:

Insert a light (1/16 - 1/8 oz.) lead head jig with a 2/0 spring wire hook into the inside of the tube, pushing the jig's eye through the top of the tube. Cast the bait letting it spiral down like a dying baitfish. Fluorocarbon line can be helpful with Lake Erie and the bay being extremely clear. Jumbo tubes in the 4 1/2" to 5" length are popular for those anglers targeting a trophy fish. The larger tubes require a larger lead head jig.

Let the bait fall on slack line but be aware of your line at all times. Any movement of the line will indicate a strike while it is falling. Reel down, and with a snap of your wrist, set the hook.

If the bait reaches the bottom, gently raise your rod tip until you feel the bait. Do this two or three times and if it feels funny, set the hook. If you do not feel anything after the two or three lift and drops, reel in and repeat the process.

Use tube jigs while searching for large or small mouth bass in the shallows

In and around Presque Isle Bay, try rigging it weedless by using a Shaw Grigsby High Performance hook in the 2/0 size with a small weight inside the tube.

Use as light a weight as you can get away with without losing the delicate feel of the tube bait (Lighter weights in the Bay and heavier in the Lake).

Fish the tube bait around docks and brush or any other available cover with no weight, the slow fall will drive bass crazy.

Out in open water for smallmouth, fish the outside edges of large deep weed lines or large weed beds. As the day progresses, throw a weedless tube rig inside the weeds as bass tend to go deeper in the weeds as the sun rises.

Tighten your drag down for a better hook set. Once the fish is away from cover let off on the drag and let the bass tire itself out. The advantage of a longer rod comes into play here as it does the work of tiring the bass so you can land it.

Use different styles of lead heads ( round, darter, and chicklet are a few) to do different kinds of fishing with the tube. Each one produces a different type of fall.

There are many different types of plastics used in the process of making tubes. Use a soft plastic for open water fishing and a harder type for cover fishing such as brush and Lilly pads.

There are also many different colors to use but stay with the basics of greens and browns (pumpkinseed, motoroil, black with speckles, olive are all popular) for imitating crayfish and clear or pearl with metal flake colors for imitating baitfish. These are not hard and true colors, but day in and day out, produce the best.

Fish for Free Days
Fish for Free Days allow anyone to legally fish for Pennsylvania's most popular fish without a fishing license. Each year the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission's Executive Director designates 2 Fish for Free Days. No fishing license is required to fish on Pennsylvania's waterways all day May 30th and September 5th, 2011. All other fishing regulations still apply.

Copies of the Anglers Summary booklet can obtained at most area bait and tackle shops and at the Walnut Creek Access office free of charge. The Erie area offers a bonanza of fishing opportunities for the new angler. Plenty of shore fishing is available to new anglers along the Bay Front Highway on Presque Isle Bay as well as much of the shore line at Presque Isle State Park. Fish for fee days are the opportunity for the inexperienced angler to try his luck as well as a great opportunity to introduce a friend to fishing. This is also a great opportunity to get that spouse involved as well.

Local Weather:

Wednesday Night...Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Not as cool with lows in the lower 60s. Southeast winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 50 percent.

Thursday...Mostly cloudy. Showers and thunderstorms likely...mainly in the afternoon. Highs in the upper 70s. South winds 15 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 70 percent.

Thursday Night...Showers and thunderstorms likely. Lows in the lower 60s. South winds 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 70 percent.

Friday...Showers likely. Also a chance of thunderstorms. Highs around 70. Chance of rain 70 percent.

Friday Night...Cloudy. Showers likely with a chance of thunderstorms in the evening...then a chance of showers after midnight. Lows in the mid 50s. Chance of rain 60 percent.

Saturday...Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the lower 70s. Chance of rain 50 percent.

Saturday Night...Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the upper 50s. Chance of rain 50 percent.

Sunday...Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 70s. Chance of rain 30 percent.

Sunday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows in the lower 60s.

Memorial Day...Partly cloudy. Highs in the lower 80s.

Monday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 60s.

Tuesday...Mostly sunny. Highs in the lower 80s.

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